As the Swedish company’s first road-going production car, the Koenigsegg CC8S had a lot riding on its shoulders. In order to establish itself as a serious player in the supercar world, this needed to be great. Because even good attempts from unknown brands can easily flop. Luckily, with Christian Von Koenigsegg at the helm, what the small company produced was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

A Record-Breaking Engine

The second it debuted, the Koenigsegg CC8S featured the most powerful production engine, ever. And that’s according to the folks at Guinness, so it’s not just some marketing fluff. In this day of bespoke Koenigsegg V8s, it might surprise you to learn that the CC8S’s engine started life as a 4.7-litre Ford V8.

Thanks to generous tweaks made by the small team of engineers, the final product developed 655bhp and 750 Nm of torque. Routed to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission, that powerplant can propel the CC8S to 62mph in just 3.5 seconds. And while that is plenty impressive, the top speed is the real headliner: 240 miles per hour. With its very first production model, Koenigsegg was making a splash. But the car is about more than just that glorious engine.

The Rest of the Car is Pretty Good, Too

Oftentimes, new supercar brands struggle coming up with a cohesive styling language. That’s not the case with the Koenigsegg CC8S. In fact, this 2002 model looks strikingly similar to modern models like the Agera. The CC8S can also boast of being the first car in the world to feature dihedral-synchro helix actuation doors. While that is a mouthful to say, watching them work is beauty in motion.

To keep weight down, Koenigsegg designed a Kevlar- and carbon-fibre chassis. Carbon also makes up all of the body panels on the car. Meanwhile, special magnesium alloy wheels help keep the unsprung weight down. The results are incredible: dry, the car weighs just 1,175 kgs.

 After a very limited run of just 6 models, the Koenigsegg CC8S ended production in 2004. At that point, the CCR picked up where this model left off.

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